Is Lee Camp number one? Why loan Didier Ndong? Chris Coleman on Sunderland's big January decisions

New Sunderland signing Lee Camp
New Sunderland signing Lee Camp
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Chris Coleman declared himself pleased with Sunderland's deadline day business and believes his squad is now better equipped for the rigours of the Championship season.

Ashley Fletcher, Lee Camp and Ovie Ejaria all joined on loan deals after Jake Clarke-Salter and Kazenga LuaLua had put pen to paper earlier in the month.

The Black Cats face Ipswich Town on Saturday afternoon as they look to kick-start their season and an optimistic Coleman believes all five have a big part to play.

He said: "This league more than any is powerful, pacy, there is a lot of contact and you have to match that.

"The signings we’ve brought in this month, we’ve certainly add physicality, we’ve certainly added pace. We’ve added experience in Lee Camp.

"There’s no guarantees bringing players in but on the surface we’ve added things we didn’t have. Now we have to go and execute the game plan, and it is good to know exactly what we’ve got. Now we’ve got to make it work.

"You have to get it right at both ends of the pitch," he added.

"You can be as good as you like in midfield but if you are not right at the top and bottom of the pitch, it's going to a problem.

"The areas where we have strengthened are the areas that I think we needed to strengthen.

"We've brought players right through the spine of the team to help us."

Ahead of the crucial game against Mick McCarthy's side on Saturday, the Black Cats boss opened up on the big transfer day developments and what it means for his team going forward....

On whether Lee Camp will be his Number One...

"He's here's to play. He's here to push Robbin and Jason, and I think his experience will serve us well, and the type of personality he is.

"I haven't brought players in so that they can not take part – they are here to play and to help us.

"Lee would probably have been the number one for Neil Warnock at Cardiff had he not got injured.

"He was unfortunate really, and I can see why Neil would have wanted him there with his experience.

"He just needs to get back playing again. He is only 33 and for a keeper, that's nothing, he has got some years left in him yet."

On the decision to loan Didier Ndong to Watford....

"The initial loan deal didn't suit us, but we needed to do our own stuff and then Watford came back with an improved offer.

"There were stipulations in there that suited us better.

"Ideally, we would rather it had not been a loan but we needed to do stuff ourselves and Didier was desperate to leave – I must stress that.

"So the improved deal with Watford ticked the boxes and allowed us to do what we needed to do.

"We got someone out of the building who was desperate to leave, and someone into the building who is desperate to be here.

"It ticked all the boxes, albeit we know it is only until the end of the season, but this is the situation we are in.

"We need everybody at it and pulling in the right direction and clearly Didier didn't want to be here."

On the signing of Ashley Fletcher and not landing a further experienced striker...

"Financially, we couldn't really do it [a fourth deadline day deal].

"If we had gone for another one, I would have probably have wanted someone with more experience.

"But financially we couldn't do it and I understood that – although it didn't stop me asking the question!

"There was so much going on that it would have been impossible to get the deal done because at one point it would have been someone from overseas, and it is very tough to get it done on the last day.

"We couldn't get it over the line.

"With Ash, he's a big lad – 6ft 5in – so he can head the ball and he is good in the air but his strength is actually that he is good with his feet, he likes getting in behind, and that is a good blend for us with the other strikers that we have got.

"With all due respect to Josh and Joel, they are still young. They have been great for us and they are going to be good for us going forward, but we can't go into this battle depending on young boys with no experience every week – it's not fair, especially in that important position.

"Hence why Kaz and Ash are here, and the blend of the four of them is good and I am happy with it.

"We have some physicality, we have a bit of pace, we can create with those four."

On Lamine Kone's future....

"Nothing materialised for Lamine. To be fair to the big fella, he has been out for a long time, he made his comeback against Birmingham having only had an hour for the U23s.

"But we had lost John O'Shea through sickness and that meant we had to bring in Lamine and it was a tough one for him after so long out.

"Then he had a really bad fall on his knee and I thought he might have to come off, but he got through it, although he will be a big doubt for the weekend.

"Transfer-wise, we didn't have any calls about him."